Sunday, March 29, 2015

Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction June 20 1866 < 1851-1875 < Documents < American History From Revolution To Reconstruction and beyond

The little noted Congressional Joint Committee on Reconstruction, reporting six months after ratification of the 13th Amendment, laid the foundation for the 14th Amendment. That history was told masterfully by Eric Foner [Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution (1988)] and recently by Gerard N. Magliocca in his fine biography of its principal architect - American Founding Son - John Bingham and the Invention of the 14th Amendment. The project remains America's unfinished revolution, as recent reports - such as the Justice Department's on Ferguson, Missouri, demonstrate. - gwc.Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction June 20 1866 < 1851-1875 < Documents < American History From Revolution To Reconstruction and beyond

Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction June 20 1866 

 A claim for the immediate admission of senators and representatives from the so called Confederate States has been urged, which seems to your committee not to be founded either in reason or in law, and which cannot be passed without comment. Stated in a few words, it amounts to this: That inasmuch as the lately insurgent States had no legal right to separate themselves from the Union, they still retain their positions as States, and consequently the people thereof have a right to immediate representation in Congress without the imposition of any conditions whatever. . . . It has even been contended that until such admission all legislation affecting their interests is, if not unconstitutional, at least unjustifiable and oppressive. 

It is believed by your Committee that these propositions are not only wholly untenable, but, if admitted would tend to the destruction of the government.

It must not be forgotten that the people of these States, without justification or excuse, rose in insurrection against the United States. They deliberately abolished their State governments so far as the same connected them politically with the Union. . . . They opened hostilities and levied war against the government. They continued this war for four years with the most determined and malignant spirit. . . . Whether legally and constitutionally or not, they did, in fact, withdraw from the Union and made themselves subjects of another government of their own creation. And they only yielded when they were compelled by utter exhaustion to lay down their arms . . . expressing no regret, except that they had no longer the power to continue the desperate struggle****

***With such evidence before them, it is the opinion of your committee

  1. That the States lately in rebellion were, at the close of the war, disorganized communities, without civil government, and without constitutions or other forms, by virtue of which political relations could legally exist between them and the federal government.
  2. That Congress cannot be expected to recognize as valid the election of representatives from disorganized communities, which, from the very nature of the case, were unable to present their claim to representation under those established and recognized rules, the observance of which has been hitherto required.
  3. That Congress would not be justified in admitting such communities to a participation in the government of the country without first providing such constitutional or other guarantees as will tend to secure the civil rights of all citizens of the republic; a just equality of representation; protection against claims founded in rebellion and crime; a temporary restoration of the right of suffrage to those who had not actively participated in the efforts to destroy the Union and overthrow the government, and the exclusion from positions of public trust of, at least, a portion of those whose crimes have proved them to be enemies to the Union, and unworthy of public confidence."

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Philadelphia Cops Shoot and Kill People at 6 Times the Rate of the NYPD | Mother Jones

49% of police shootings of unarmed civilians (Officer involved shootings - OIS) involved the misperception of an object as a gun.  Black cops were wrong more often than white cops.  This feeds my general sense that a thin-skinned pride, and a tough guy culture of violence are basic cultural weaknesses of many policemen regardless of race. - gwc

Philadelphia Cops Shoot and Kill People at 6 Times the Rate of the NYPD | Mother Jones:

"Philadelphia, a city with a vastly smaller population than that of New York City, has seen a much higher rate of police shootings in recent years. According to a new report published on Monday by the US Department of Justice, police violence disproportionately affects Philadelphia's black community, and officers don't receive consistent training on the department's deadly force policy.

The 174-page report results from an investigation the DOJ launched in 2013 at the request of Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, during a time when officer-involved shootings, including fatal incidents, were on the rise, even as violent crimes and assaults against the police was on the decline. "Police carry baggage and lack legitimacy in some communities," Ramsey, who has been appointed to chair the Presidential Task Force on 21st Century Policing, recently told the New York Times. "And for us to change the paradigm, we have to understand why we are viewed in this way."  "

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Generics rule: Public Citizen Urges FDA to Resist Industry Pressure, Protect Patients

As the FDA wobbles under industry pressure and reopens the comment period on the rule that demands generic drug manufacturers warn of safety risks as soon as they learn of them, Public Citizen which petitioned for the rule change spoke at the hearing on March 26, 2015. - gwc

Public Citizen Press Room

This Week: Congressional Briefing and Public Meeting on Fate of FDA Generic Labeling Rule

Public Citizen Urges Agency to Resist Industry Pressure, Protect Patients

WHAT: Congressional briefing and public hearing regarding the fate of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed rule to enable generic drug makers to update warning labels when they learn of new dangers. Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, will participate in both events and urge the agency to resist pressure from the pharmaceutical industry to put profits above patient safety.

The events come as the pharmaceutical industry is pressuring the FDA to weaken an essential patient safety rule.

The FDA’s proposed rule – issued in November 2013 in response to a Public Citizen petition (PDF) – would give generics manufacturers the ability to update labeling regarding newly discovered risks without obtaining prior approval from the FDA – much as brand-name manufacturers have been able to do for nearly 30 years. Under current rules, generic manufacturers are not permitted to update warnings to reflect new safety information unless instructed to do so by the FDA.

The proposed rule would protect patients by ensuring they have updated safety information as soon as possible, but the generics industry has been lobbying aggressively against the rule, arguing that it would raise generic prices.

Although the comment period on the proposed rule originally closed on March 13, 2014, the FDA has taken the unusual step of soliciting additional comments and holding Friday’s public hearing on an industry counterproposal.

At the events, experts will discuss the FDA’s proposal, an alternative industry proposal, the true cost of the regulation and the effects on consumers when generic labels cannot be updated in a timely fashion.
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Oklahoma U racist chanter "I'm deeply sorry"

This appears to me to be a genuine apology.  - gwc
Oklahoma Frat Member: I'm 'Deeply Sorry' For Singing Racist Chant  Talking Points Memo
Parker Rice
I am deeply sorry for what I did Saturday night. It was wrong and reckless. I made a horrible mistake by joining into the singing and encouraging others to do the same. On Monday, I withdrew from the university, and sadly, at this moment our family is not able to be in our home because of threatening calls as well as frightening talk on social media.
I know everyone wants to know why or how this happened. I admit it likely was fueled by alcohol consumed at the house before the bus trip, but that’s not an excuse. Yes, the song was taught to us, but that too doesn’t work as an explanation. It’s more important to acknowledge what I did and what I didn’t do. I didn’t say no, and I clearly dismissed an important value I learned at my beloved high school, Dallas Jesuit. We were taught to be ‘Men for Others.’ I failed in that regard, and in those moments, I also completely ignored the core values and ethics I learned from my parents and others.
At this point, all I can do is be thoughtful and prayerful about my next steps, but I am also concerned about the fraternity friends still on campus. Apparently, they are feeling unsafe and some have been harassed by others. Hopefully, the university will protect them.
For me, this is a devastating lesson and I am seeking guidance on how I can learn from this and make sure it never happens again. My goal for the long-term is to be a man who has the heart and the courage to reject racism wherever I see or experience it in the future.
Thank you for your consideration of my deepest apologies for what I did.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I see your mandamus and raise you a class action // Howard Wasserman//Prawfsblog

PrawfsBlawg: I see your mandamus and raise you a class action:

by Prof. Howard Wasserman

"In response to last week's Writ of Mandamus by the Supreme Court of Alabama, the plaintiffs in Strawser have moved to amend the complaint to add some new plaintiffs and one new probate-judge defendant and to have the entire thing certified as a plaintiff and defendant class action. (H/T: Lyle Denniston).

 If successful, the move will allow Judge Granade to enjoin every probate judge to issue a license to every same-sex couple in the state.

It also seems to set-up a direct conflict between orders of a state supreme court and a lower federal court, although that may be more illusory than real. The arguments surrounding the mandamus recognize that the mandamus only controlled judges not under a federal injunction requiring them to issue licenses; recall that Judge Don Davis (at the time the only probate judge subject to an injunction) was ordered to show that he was under the injunction, presumably to be released from the mandamus. By those terms, if a class injunction issues, every probate judge should be given an opportunity to make that showing, after which the mandamus should give way.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on March 9, 2015 at 09:31 AM"

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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Obama at Selma: "We Know the March is Not Over Yet"

OTHERWISE: Barack Obama at Selma: The March is Not Over Yet:
In perhaps his greatest speech Barack Obama at Selma today celebrated the civil rights movement and the turning point that was Selma, linking it memorably to other great moments in American history:
"There are places, and moments in America where this nation’s destiny has been decided. Many are sites of war – Concord and Lexington, Appomattox and Gettysburg. Others are sites that symbolize the daring of America’s character – Independence Hall and Seneca Falls, Kitty Hawk and Cape Canaveral.
Selma is such a place.
In one afternoon fifty years ago, so much of our turbulent history – the stain of slavery and anguish of civil war; the yoke of segregation and tyranny of Jim Crow; the death of four little girls in Birmingham, and the dream of a Baptist preacher – met on this bridge.It was not a clash of armies, but a clash of wills; a contest to determine the meaning of America.And because of men and women like John Lewis, Joseph Lowery, Hosea Williams, Amelia Boynton, Diane Nash, Ralph Abernathy, C.T. Vivian, Andrew Young, Fred Shuttlesworth, Dr. King, and so many more, the idea of a just America, a fair America, an inclusive America, a generous America – that idea ultimately triumphed."
Read the complete text 

OTHERWISE: BP gives up attempt to remove Patrick Juneau as spill claims administrator

OTHERWISE: BP gives up attempt to remove Patrick Juneau as spill claims administrator:

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Obama, at Selma Memorial, Says, ‘We Know the March Is Not Over Yet’ -

Obama, at Selma Memorial, Says, ‘We Know the March Is Not Over Yet’ -

by Peter Baker and Richard Fausset

ELMA, Ala. — As a new generation struggles over race and power in America, President Obama and a host of political figures from both parties came here on Saturday, to the site of one of the most searing days of the civil rights era, to reflect on how far the country has come and how far it still has to go.

Fifty years after peaceful protesters trying to cross a bridge were beaten by police officers with billy clubs, shocking the nation and leading to passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, the nation’s first African-American president led a bipartisan, multiracial testimonial to the pioneers whose courage helped pave the way for his own election to the highest office of the land.

But coming just days after Mr. Obama’s Justice Department excoriated the police department of Ferguson, Mo., as a hotbed of racist oppression, even as it cleared a white officer in the killing of an unarmed black teenager, the anniversary seemed more than a commemoration of long-ago events on a black-and-white newsreel. Instead, it provided a moment to measure the country’s far narrower, and yet stubbornly persistent, divide in black-and-white reality***
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Assignment America: Selma -

Assignment America: Selma -

by Gay Talese  March 6, 2015

" IN downtown Selma last week, as I retraced the route I had taken 50 years ago while following hundreds of civil rights marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and onto a highway blocked by hostile white lawmen who would soon create “Bloody Sunday,” my attention was drawn to the vigorous activities of a middle-aged black man who was holding a shovel and digging holes in the dirt between the curb and sidewalk of Broad Street, which leads to the bridge. Then he began planting pansies, azalea bushes and small juniper trees that he hauled from the back of a 1997 Ford truck parked nearby that belongs to Steavie’s Landscape Design and Construction company.  “I’m not Steavie,” he said after I had watched him for a while, and finally approached with what he might have assumed were troublesome questions.

Security agents and other out-of-town suits had been wandering around the area in preparation for President Obama’s arrival this weekend for the Bridge Crossing Jubilee. But the landscaper probably decided that I was too old to cause much trouble (I think of myself as a youthful 83); and so he relaxed, and, while leaning on his shovel and extending an ungloved hand, he said, “I’m Steavie’s brother.”

He explained that he and a few of his friends were assisting Steavie in a city-sponsored endeavor to beautify Selma’s downtown area. “We only had eight days to do the job,” he said, conceding that lining the sidewalks with flowers and bushes in a city of limited resources and many vacant storefronts was a lot to ask of Steavie’s landscaping enterprise.

During my four-block stroll along Broad Street from City Hall down to the bridge ramp, I counted 15 unoccupied locations."...

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Republicans for Same Sex Marriage | GOPLifer

Republicans for Same Sex Marriage | GOPLifer:

by Christ Ladd

"This is what the GOP might look like when the culture wars finally end.

 Republicans in Massachusetts have openly backed same sex marriage, joining an amicus brief filed by former RNC Chair and Bush Administration official Ken Mehlman.

Almost all of the party’s major figures in Massachusetts have signed the brief including new Governor Charlie Baker. Also signing the brief are Maine Senator Susan Collins and Republican donor David Koch.

 The brief makes the conservative case for same sex marriage rights, citing a laundry list of favorite conservative cases and authors. This quote from Barry Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative is particularly biting:

“The Conservative is the first to understand that the practice of freedom requires the establishment of order: it is impossible for one man to be free if another is able to deny him the exercise of his freedom. … He knows that the utmost vigilance and care are required to keep political power within its proper bounds.”

 A few other excerpts:

 The governmental bans at is-issue here rest on similarly ungrounded, archaic, and obsolete beliefs—however sincerely, strongly, or long held—and thus the Fourteenth Amendment requires recognition of the bans’ invalidity.

This Court has repeatedly made clear that although legislators and voters may generally exercise power over certain subjects—including many contentious social issues—the government’s power is limited when it comes to injurious incursions upon the freedom of minorities."

 No one at any point in this decades-long debate has been able to describe any credible harm that might rise from same sex marriage. Cut through all the bullshit, and the argument against same sex marriage is absolutely singular – “my religious convictions dictate that homosexuality is wrong.” That’s it."

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Losing Selma’s civil rights legacy: In the cycle of American history, black political power is waning.

Marchers carry a “We march with Selma!” banner on a street in Harlem in New York City

If the 1960's was the Second Reconstruction, are we living in the Second Redemption?  No,but...the south is once again solid - a `single party democracy' with a neo-Confederate attitude. - gwc

Losing Selma’s civil rights legacy: In the cycle of American history, black political power is waning. //

by Jamell Bouie

 "Fifty years ago on March 7, civil rights activists John Lewis and the Rev. Hosea Williams led 600 people on a march from Selma, Alabama, to the capitol in Montgomery. Stopped by a gang of state police and white civilians on the Edmund Pettus Bridge outside of Selma, they were attacked in a vicious display of white supremacist violence. Besieged by tear gas, whips, nightsticks, and other makeshift weapons, they were injured, bloodied—dozens required care and 17, including Lewis, were hospitalized—and pushed back into town. Recorded by national media and broadcast to the world, these events would galvanize thousands of Americans, inspire a larger (and successful) march to Montgomery, and lead President Lyndon Johnson to commit to and push a voting rights act that would stand as the high-water mark of civil rights movement."

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DePuy Pinnacle Hip Bellwether Trials Set to Resume in 2015, Says -- HOUSTON, March 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

DePuy Pinnacle Hip Bellwether Trials Set to Resume in 2015, Says -- HOUSTON, March 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --: "HOUSTON, March 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- MT Services LLC, a Lawsuit Settlement News Reporting Company which operates, announced today that a recent announcement was made stating that more bellwether trials are set to take place in 2015 over J&J DePuy's Pinnacle hips.

The federal litigation was established in the Northern District of Texas U.S. District Court and according to a court order from February 18th, 10 cases were selected as potential bellwether candidates (DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Product Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2244).

The court overseeing the DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Multidistrict Litigation docket has designated 10 cases to be prepared for trial in 2015, four months after jurors reached a defense verdict in the first Pinnacle Hip Implant case to go to trial in late 2014. In the Feb. 18 order signed by U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade, the ten cases on the list to be prepared for trial are: Aoki (Cause No. 3:13-cv-01071-K), Borel (Cause No. 3:14-cv-00441-K), Brown (Cause No. 3:12-cv-02780-K), Christopher (Cause No. 3:14-cv-01994-K), Greer (Cause No. 3:12-cv-01672-K), Klussmann (Cause No. 3:11-cv-02800-K), O'Neill (Cause No. 3:12-cv-03027-K), Peterson (Cause No. 3:11-cv-01941-K), Ryan (Cause No. 3:13-cv-02195-K), and Thibodeau (Cause No. 3:13-cv-01027-K) in Case 3:11-md-02244-K.

Johnson and Johnson continues to stand by and defend the Pinnacle hip, unlike their recent $2.5Bil settlement of the ASR hip. The upcoming bellwether trials will be a key indicator in the direction of this litigation to show if J&J will continue to fight liability on the filed cases at hand or settle like they did in the ASR litigation."

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Alabama Court Orders a Halt to Same-Sex Marriage Licenses -

Nina Simone sang "Alabama's got me so upset, Tennessee made me lose my rest, and everybody knows about Mississippi...Goddamn!"  Is it dejavu all over again or does Alabama's Supreme Court have a valid point about states rights and the jurisprudential principal of comity? - gwc

Alabama Court Orders a Halt to Same-Sex Marriage Licenses - "The Alabama Supreme Court on Tuesday night ordered probate judges around the state to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, ruling in direct opposition to a federal judge that the state’s ban on same sex marriage did not violate the United States Constitution.

In a 7-to-1 decision, the court ruled that “Alabama law allows for ‘marriage’ between only one man and one woman,” and that the state’s probate judges “have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to this law.”

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Interim Report of President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing

President of the United States: Barack Obama
The President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing has issued an interim report.  The message is simple: protect and serve, work to develop trust.  Eighty five Americans were killed by police last month.  There are plausible expectations for almost all of them.  But necessity not plausibility is what is required for broad public trust of the police.  For that to happen facts like these reported by The Economist must change:
In 2012, according to data compiled by the FBI, 410 Americans were “justifiably” killed by police—409 with guns. That figure may well be an underestimate. Not only is it limited to the number of people who were shot while committing a crime, but also, amazingly, reporting the data is voluntary.
Last year, in total, British police officers actually fired their weapons three times. The number of people fatally shot was zero. In 2012 the figure was just one. Even after adjusting for the smaller size of Britain’s population, British citizens are around 100 times less likely to be shot by a police officer than Americans. Between 2010 and 2014 the police force of one small American city, Albuquerque in New Mexico, shot and killed 23 civilians; seven times more than the number of Brits killed by all of England and Wales’s 43 forces during the same period.

Some excerpts from the President's task force's interim report:

Guardian principle
1.1 RECOMMENDATION: Law enforcement culture should embrace a guardian mindset to build public trust and legitimacy. Toward that end, police and sheriffs’ departments should adopt procedural justice as the guiding principle for internal and external policies and practices to guide their interactions with the citizens they serve. How officers define their role will set the tone for the community. As Plato wrote, “In a republic that honors the core of democracy—the greatest amount of power is given to those called Guardians. Only those with the most impeccable character are chosen to bear the responsibility of protecting the democracy.” Law enforcement cannot build community trust if it is seen as an occupying force coming in from outside to rule and control the community. 

1.2.1 ACTION ITEM: The U.S. Department of Justice should develop and disseminate case studies that provide examples where past injustices were publicly acknowledged by law enforcement agencies in a manner to help build community trust. 

1.3 RECOMMENDATION: Law enforcement agencies should establish a culture of transparency and accountability in order to build public trust and legitimacy. This will help ensure decision making is understood and in accord with stated policy. 

1.3.1 ACTION ITEM: To embrace a culture of transparency, law enforcement agencies should make all department policies available for public review and regularly post on the department’s website information about stops, summonses, arrests, reported crime, and other law enforcement data aggregated by demographics.
 1.3.2 ACTION ITEM: When serious incidents occur, including those involving alleged police misconduct, agencies should communicate with citizens and the media swiftly, openly, and neutrally, respecting areas where the law requires confidentiality. One way to promote neutrality is to ensure that agencies and their members do not release background information on involved parties. While a great deal of information is often publicly available, this information should not be proactively distributed by law enforcement

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Effect of Malpractice Reform on Emergency Department Care — NEJM

"Defensive medicine" that drives up the costs of medical care is a battle cry of "tort reformers".  It has had a big effect.  Even President Obama has endorsed "medical malpractice reform" as a cost-saver. Like other "serious people" he has been untroubled by the lack of evidence - because it is "common sense" (which is what we think before we study).  Made shamelessly, the argument is odd. It is, essentially, that doctors violate their oath to do no harm. They spend other peoples money and subject their patients to great expense and inconvenience for no good medical reason.  Just out of fear that if they don't do it they could be subjected to a groundless claim.

It is really just interest group bargaining - physicians hoping to reduce their insurance premiums - at the expense of their patients.  They did that in three states in the single-party democracy of the south.  The Rand Corporation studied it.  The result: no change in medical practice - but patients injured through carelessness had no remedy. - gwc

The Effect of Malpractice Reform on Emergency Department Care — NEJM

Daniel A. Waxman, M.D., Ph.D., Michael D. Greenberg, J.D., Ph.D., M. Susan Ridgely, J.D., Arthur L. Kellermann, M.D., M.P.H., and Paul Heaton, Ph.D.
N Engl J Med 2014; 371:1518-1525October 16, 2014DOI: 10.1056/NEJM

Many believe that fear of malpractice lawsuits drives physicians to order otherwise unnecessary care and that legal reforms could reduce such wasteful spending. Emergency physicians practice in an information-poor, resource-rich environment that may lend itself to costly defensive practice. Three states, Texas (in 2003), Georgia (in 2005), and South Carolina (in 2005), enacted legislation that changed the malpractice standard for emergency care to gross negligence. We investigated whether these substantial reforms changed practice.

Using a 5% random sample of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries, we identified all emergency department visits to hospitals in the three reform states and in neighboring (control) states from 1997 through 2011. Using a quasi-experimental design, we compared patient-level outcomes, before and after legislation, in reform states and control states. We controlled for characteristics of the patients, time-invariant hospital characteristics, and temporal trends. Outcomes were policy-attributable changes in the use of computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), per-visit emergency department charges, and the rate of hospital admissions.

For eight of the nine state–outcome combinations tested, no policy-attributable reduction in the intensity of care was detected. We found no reduction in the rates of CT or MRI utilization or hospital admission in any of the three reform states and no reduction in charges in Texas or South Carolina. In Georgia, reform was associated with a 3.6% reduction (95% confidence interval, 0.9 to 6.2) in per-visit emergency department charges.

Legislation that substantially changed the malpractice standard for emergency physicians in three states had little effect on the intensity of practice, as measured by imaging rates, average charges, or hospital admission rates.

(Funded by the Veterans Affairs Office of Academic Affiliations and others.)"

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DePuy Round 2 Hip Implant Settlement Explained // Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC

Plaintiffs lawyers explain to the new proposed settlement. - gwc
DePuy Hip Implant - Round 2 Settlement Explained
by Richard Schlueter //Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC

On Friday, February 20, 2015, DePuy/ Johnson &amp; Johnson agreed to pay approximately $420 million more to resolve approximately 1400 additional DePuy ASR lawsuits. The order came from the Court extending the settlement offer to Plaintiffs who had revision surgery after August 31, 2013 up through January 31, 2015.  hip
From the beginning of this litigation, almost five years ago, our goal at Childers, Schlueter &amp; Smith has been to prosecute cases aggressively until DePuy accepted responsibility for its actions and offered to settle viable cases, or until viable cases were tried before a jury.  While we are pleased that DePuy has proposed a second round of settlements now for certain plaintiffs.
There are a number of very important issues we want all ASR patients to be aware of given this recent proposal:
1)      This is not a blanket, one-size-fits-all settlement proposal. DePuy’s proposal set outs specific terms which determine the individual settlement amounts for each person’s case (see below). As we have always maintained, all ASR cases are different.  Because of the differences in each case, the proposed settlement amounts for all claimants will be different.
2)      The settlement proposal is just that – a proposal – which you are not required to accept.  Individual claimants in any case can accept or reject any settlement offer.  At CSS, we evaluate each case and determine, as precisely as possible, the amount of compensation you would likely receive under the proposed settlement and whether it makes sense to continue under the program. For most it does, for a few select others it may not.
DePuy ASRWhat are the terms of the settlement?
DePuy is offering the proposed settlement to citizens and residents of the United State who: 1) had an ASR hip implanted in the U.S.: and 2) whose ASR hip was revised between August 31, 2013 and January 31, 2015. DePuy is only making the settlement proposal to patients who received an ASR hip. The proposal does not cover any other hip implant device manufactured by DePuy.
DePuy’s settlement proposal lists a number of factors which will determine the value of a settlement offer, such as whether you suffered a loss of income, whether you required another surgery after the revision of the ASR hip, your age, smoking history, and/or obesity.  As noted above, we are in the process of determining how these factors apply to our client’s cases right now and can do the same on new cases if you act fast.
Payment of Liens
If you choose to accept DePuy’s proposed settlement, they have also agreed to pay any liens that may be asserted by your medical providers or health insurance companies.  Liens are monies owed to repay your insurance company for the funds they paid relating to your ASR hip implant, or monies still owed to your medical providers for services they provided that relate to your ASR hip implant.  Ordinarily, such liens would be paid by you out of the settlement proceeds you receive.  In light of the fact that you have had revision surgery, the liens associated with your case could be significant.  We believe DePuy’s agreement to pay your liens is a benefit to anyone who chooses to accept DePuy’s proposed settlement.
Broadspire benefits
The Broadspire benefits that have been provided so far have been of great benefit to most of our ASR clients that are uninsured.  These benefits have been limited. In anticipation of the program potentially stopping, we urge you to provide us with documentation of all out of pocket expenses and lost wages that you have not already provided us, so we can submit them to Broadspire for processing if they were incurred prior to January 31, 2015.
What is the timeframe to decide to accept or reject DePuy’s proposed settlement?
To be eligible, you must register your case with DePuy by the stated deadline. Following that registration period, there will be a final enrollment date for all eligible claims where all the applicable medical records and settlement materials have to be properly submitted. We are currently waiting on the announcement of the enrollment deadline date. Once we have that date and the documents are made available, we will prepare settlement packets for our clients review and signature. We also have the capacity to do this on any new claims submitted to our office in the very near future.
DePuy’s walk away option
DePuy will have a walk away option. The percentage of enrollment is still to be announced. If enrollment is less than the target percentage, DePuy can choose to walk away and not pay you any settlement at this time.  DePuy can also choose, however, to continue with the settlement if less than the target percentage of people accept it, but they do not have to do so.  If less than target percentage of the eligible people agrees to the proposed settlement, DePuy must decide whether to continue with or withdraw the proposal by a date that will be published shortly.
Our next steps
As noted above, the law firm of Childers, Schlueter &amp; Smith continues to investigate and take on new DePuy ASR clients that need assistance with their potential claims. We are evaluating all cases under the terms of the proposed settlement, and we will take all steps needed to ensure your rights are protected. As time is limited, you must act now if you want to put our firm’s experience to work for you. As always, if you have any questions, please can contact our office for more information on the Round 2 DePuy ASR Hip Implant Settlement. All calls are confidential and all initial consultations are free of charge

Study Questions Potential Healthcare Savings Gained by Tort Reform | Atlanta Legal Examiner | Atlanta Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer

Study Questions Potential Healthcare Savings Gained by Tort Reform | Atlanta Legal Examiner | Atlanta Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer:

by M.Brandon Smith // Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC

"Although many proponents of tort reform believe that fear of malpractice lawsuits prompts physicians to order unnecessary tests and indirectly drives up medical costs, a Rand Corporation study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine found otherwise.

The study analyzed the experience of emergency room doctors in Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas after the states raised the burden of proof for malpractice lawsuits to gross negligence for emergency care, basically requiring that doctors knowingly provide improper care to a patient to be found liable. 

 Rand researchers analyzed more than three million Medicare claims for three metrics – how often ER physicians ordered advanced imaging studies, the rate of inpatient admissions following ER visits, and total charges for an ER visit, and compared the data to that of neighboring states with lower bars for malpractice lawsuits. The researchers found that only Georgia exhibited a small drop in charges per patient, and nothing else really changed, according to a Washington Post report. 

 Defensive Medicine

According to the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), defensive medicine “occurs when doctors order tests, procedures, or visits, or avoid high-risk patients or procedures, primarily (but not necessarily or solely) to reduce their exposure to malpractice liability.” 

 Actions may be considered defensive medicine even if performed for legitimate reasons, such as a belief in a procedure’s effectiveness, a desire to reduce medical uncertainty, or a financial incentive, as long as the primary motive is to avoid malpractice risk. The motive need not be conscious, and some medical practices become so routine that physicians are oblivious to the fact that liability concerns originally motivated their use."

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